People and what they do, is something crucial you need to know when getting involved in a fashion show as a volunteer. Felicity sent me a text one morning saying would you like to be involved in the Wintergarden fashion show as a 'Dresser' (what is a dresser? some one who dresses models before they walk down that runway) and I was thrilled. We all met in the foodcourt in Wintergarden and this is when I met the fashion stylist Kimberly Gardner. One of the loveliest women I have ever met, and at the show and she knows what is what and how to make each look more fashionable the next! Lucky for me, my first show had very fast clothing changes, meaning in a short space of time (and I mean 2 minutes would be a luxury) the model I was dressing needed to be dressed for her next look asap! Clothes were flying everywhere and somehow finding their way comfortably on the models bodies. After this experience I think I should hand on some tips.
Here are some tips for all future volunteer dressers of fashion week and any fashion show:
1. Put your phone away when the fashion show is about to start!
This is a pet peeve at shows, as everyone is ready and eager to help their model into their second outfit, you just look unprepared and also you shouldn't be taking photos during the show. Only after.
2. Dress comfortably!
I know it's a fashion event and you probably want to be noticed for your style, then swept away to Anna Wintour's house but don't forget you want to be speedy on your feet. Be prepared to drop down to your feet and strap up that difficult buckle on a heel or sandal then jump back up and lace up the back of the dress! Minimalist style is best, and you can still look fashionable.
3. Bring Scissors, Pens and Pencils (Maybe fashion tape and Baby wipes too)
The amount of times, someone has asked for these items at a fashion show is uncountable and when it comes to the crunch, you need to be prepared! You'll be tracing and taping shoes, alongside de-tagging pieces. I remember at one of the final shows of 2012 Brisbane fashion week, I scrambling around for fashion tape and then dashing out to my model who was about to walk out on the runway and taping the top of my dress in record time!
4. Bring water!
Just because you get thirsty and normally they have water but it's always great to be hydrated!
Listen to the people trying to give you directions on how to dress your model (especially if it's your first time). Don't daze off and think "Yeah, I know how to dress myself. Dressing someone else will be a piece of cake."
NOT ALWAYS THE CASE. If you listen you'll get all the details on what is required of you pronto!
6. Ask questions before the madness.
The amount of times an outfit might miss a shoe or prescribed accessory is numerous. So when the head runner (or person who seems to know all) says ask questions now, do so and don't be afraid. The one thing that is not needed is someone asking for shoes for their model need 5 secs before they walk out on the catwalk.
7. Help others around you!
Volunteering as a dresser is really a test of your team working skills. Not just with your model but always with your fellow dressers. There are two types of dressers, that I have identified.
The TV Dresser (TV = Tunnel Vision), you're main focus is your model only and once she is out, you throw the gown back on the rack and watch the madness around you unravel.
The other type is the MT Dresser (MT = Multi-tasking), you're main focus is all the models. You dress your model and make sure she is catwalk ready, and instead of witnessing the mayhem you jump right in and help your fellow dresser.
Hint: Try and be like the MT dresser after a couple shows.
8. DO NOT FREAK OUT
Freaking out is a number 1 thing that comes into your mind when you can't zip up a dress, honestly just breathe!
9. Stay and clean up!
Pretty self explanatory, just stay back and tidy up.
10. Have fun.
Don't take it too seriously, remember to breathe.
I tell you even though I did not know these tips, I had a wonderful time and managed to get my model out the door! Hopefully these tips help some budding fashion volunteers out there!